Dear brothers and sister in Christ
Telling the congregation on Monday morning that “This will be the last mass with congregation for a while.” was not easy. But it is very important to cooperate with public health authorities to ensure the safety of all. Though we cannot gather together we shall not disregard the importance of prayer life. We shall continue to demonstrate that our God is with us; we shall continue to be the Sacrament of God especially to anyone who experiences darkness in life.
Following the new Commonwealth and State regulations on public places, all Masses and communal devotions are suspended. The regulation also requires the church doors be closed even for private prayers. The only exceptions are for funerals and weddings; in both cases with immediate family (small numbers) only. But I will be celebrating private Masses each day of this COVID19 pandemic period and praying for my parish. Anyone with special intentions for Mass, like death anniversary of dear ones or other special occasions, can contact the parish for Mass to be celebrated for their intentions. Though I cannot allow your participation, I still can offer the Mass for your intention.
Our Archbishop has dispensed the faithful from the Sunday Mass obligations during this period of regulations. All the same you are encouraged to watch “Mass for You at Home” broadcast on Channel 10 each Sunday from 6am. There are also several live-streaming and on-demand services for daily Mass both locally and from around the English-speaking world. Some of the links are available on the Archdiocesan website. You can keep Sunday holy by setting aside some time for prayer at home, reading the Scripture of the day, watching Mass on television or on line and asking God for the grace of Holy Communion.
Should you require a priest to pray for the sick or the dying, let me know and I shall try to attend to the request. Any individual seeking the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) also can contact me at the parish office.
In this time of pandemic, caring for the frail and the elderly, especially those who are isolated, is challenging. CatholicCare is working to roll out a volunteer program to help the needy access groceries, cooked meals, medicine and other necessities at this difficult time. I would like to make a list of volunteers from the parish with a coordinator. The volunteer coordinator will liaise with CatholicCare and the parish volunteers. If you are willing to volunteer, please email the parish office with your name and contact detail. CatholicCare also has a dedicated phone service, CCareline – Phone 13 18 19 for the needy to contact.
For the latest update from the Archdiocese, prayers and spiritual resources, and to watch Mass online visit https://www.sydneycatholic.org/coronavirus.updates/.
I pray that God, who through His Word reconciles the human race to Himself in a wonderful way, may grant the Christian people comfort and healing. May our prompt devotion and eager faith prepare us for it. In this time of distress, may God, the healer of all our ills be with us.
Yours in Christ
Fr Thomas Kurunthanam
During this time preferred communication is by emailing the Parish Office firstname.lastname@example.org.